Friday, June 10, 2011

Magical Moment 491, "Piercing Sweet Music"


There was an emblem on Google yesterday and still remains today, in honor of Les Paul. He was a musician/songwriter who helped developed the solid-body electric guitar, making the rock-and-roll sound possible. The emblem is an interactive guitar that allows you to strum and pluck using your mouse. I spent a while fiddling with it last night. You can record up to about 30 seconds of music. Here is a link to my composition. I entitled it "Rhythm is Impossible Using a Mouse":


When I was finished, I looked around my music room where my computer also sits. There is a piano. A guitar. A banjo. A violin. An autoharp. And a keyboard. Two keyboards actually. And still I played the Google guitar for at least a half hour. The Google emblem was a huge success. I even saw its story on the national news. Give people a musical instrument of any kind and they will be drawn to it. Well, just see what happened when this flute like instrument was invented...

"A Musical Instrument"
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)

What was he doing, the great god Pan, 
Down in the reeds by the river?
Spreading ruin and scattering ban,
Splashing and paddling with hoofs of a goat,
And breaking the golden lilies afloat
With the dragon-fly on the river.

He tore out a reed, the great god Pan,
From the deep cool bed of the river:
The limpid water turbidly ran,
And the broken lilies a-dying lay,
And the dragon-fly had fled away,
Ere he brought it out of the river.

High on the shore sat the great god Pan,
While turbidly flowed the river;
And hacked and hewed as a great god can,
With his hard bleak steel at the patient reed,
'Til there was not a sign of a leaf indeed
To prove it fresh from the river.

He cut it short, did the great god Pan,
(How tall it stood in the river!)
Then drew the pith, like the heart of a man,
Steadily from the outside ring,
And notched the poor dry empty thing
In holes, as he sat by the river.

"This is the way," laughed the great god Pan
(Laughed while he sat by the river,)
"The only way, since gods began
To make sweet music, they could succeed."
Then, dropping his mouth to a hole in the reed,
He blew in power by the river.

Sweet, sweet, sweet, O Pan!
Piercing sweet by the river!
Blinding sweet, O great god Pan!
The sun on the hill forgot to die,
And the liles revived, and the dragon-fly
Came back to dream on the river.

Yet half a beast is the great god Pan,
To laugh as he sits by the river,
Making a poet out of a man:
The true gods sigh for the cost and pain--
For the reed which grows nevermore again
As a reed with the reeds in the river.